Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.

Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.

By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.

As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.

But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.

While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.

The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...

Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.

And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Rare Large Vintage 1940s Longines Stainless Steel Man's Watch, Just Stunning Nr!Vintage Gents Wristwatch Longines Flagship Automatic Working Need Service 380Men's 1950's Longines 17 Jewel Incabloc Watch - Cleaned, Oiled And RegulatedV Rare Men's Longines Grand Prize Auto Vintage 1962 10k White G/f Case Orig DialRare Mens Vintage Longines Conquest Automatic Wrist Watch - 1950's WorkingMens Original 1953 Longines 14k Solid Gold Fancy Lug 23z Vintage Swiss Watch A+Stunning Restored 30l Longines Men's Wristwatch.Vintage Mid Century Retro Deco 14k White Gold Diamond Longines Mens Watch Vintage Longines Gents ( 20 E.p.s.a. Case ) 17 Jewel Watch ( Spares Or Repair )Excellent Vintage Longines Conquest Calendar.4x Signed Vintage 1967 Longines Ultra-chron Automatic Watch - Cal. 431 Adj 3 PosLongines Hydro Conquest 300m/1000ft Stainless Steel Automatic Mens Diver Watch1946/47 Vintage 14k Gold Men's Longines Watch Nice Lugs Nice Dial 24 Grams Longines Art Deco Caliber 19.4 Big Size Manual Top Men Vintage Swiss Made WatchVery Clean Longines 10l 17 Jewel Gents 10k Gold Filled Wrist Watch 1950sLondon Tower Bridge Longines Skeleton Engraved Antique 1910s Large WristwatchLongines Swiss Made 1990 Mens 33mm Quartz Gold Plated Dress Watch Watch F224Longines Swiss Made 1990 Mens 33mm Quartz Gold Plated Dress Watch Watch F216Longines Vintage 12.68n *nice* - 50'sLongines Swiss Made 1990 Mens 34mm Quartz Gold Plated Dress Watch Watch F218Longines Swiss Made Mens Quartz Gold Plated 32mm Luxury Dress 1990s Watch F177Longines Cal.12.68z Men's Watch From 1950'sLongines Mechanical Movement Ca 1960s Wrist Watch FwoLongines Presence Vintage Mens Quartz Watch In Full Working Order.vgcSuperb Original And Boxed White Gold Filled Longines Lt9 Wrist Watch...1956. *jcr_m* Longines Sport Chief Vintage 1960 Ref. 7634 Cal. 701 *excellent*Mens 1950s Longines Wittnauer 14k Solid Gold Revue Fancy Dial & Lugs Swiss Watch1932 Longines Solid Silver 17 Jewelled Swiss Lever Wrist Watch WorkingRare Vintage Longines Mens Wind-up Watch All Original 10k Gf Case Works Great!!!Gents Longines Presence Wristwatch L4.720.2, Booklet, Original Guarantee, 2005Slim Longines Dress Watch, Automatic L630, Rare Black Dial, Good Clean ConditionVintage Longines Diamond Dial 14k White Gold 17j Wrist Watch C1955Beaut.longines-wittnauer Gents Watch.fab Coin-mill Case/mint Dial/orig Box.1950sGenuine Men's Longines Conquest Vhp Gold Wristwatch Swiss Made L1.613.3 WorkingLongines Swiss Made 1990 Mens 31mm Quartz Gold Plated Dress Watch Watch F205Vintage Mans Wittnauer-longines 14ct Gold Automatic Watch (minty) No ReserveRare Big Military Longines Swiss Wristwatch In Steel Case Aviator Pilots WwiiLongines Conquest L1.131.4 Quartz Date Women’s Watch Blue Dial With Extra Links Stunning Restored 1950's Longines Gold Filled WatchLongines Master Collection Chronograph L2.693.4Lnib Longines Spirit L 27004236 Automatic 40.5 Mm Stainless Steel Men's Watch NrUltra Skeleton! Mens Of Longines Factory From 1910's Vintage Watch Eiffel TowerLongines 9ct Gold Nice Gents WristwatchBeautiful Lady's 9ct Gold Longines Automatic Cal 14.17 Dress Wristwatch ServiceLongines Mens Quartz Watch. Octagonal. Original Croc Strap. Spares Or RepairsLongines Swiss Made 1990 Mens 31mm Quartz Gold Plated Dress Watch Watch F178Genuine Swiss Longines Heritage 7245 Quartz Cal.l541.2 Chronograph Man's WatchRare Vintage Longines Sub Second Black Dial Manual Wind Working Gents WatchVtge Longines Cal 12.68zs Double Referenced (transitional)classic Men Watch.1954Very Thin Longines Vintage Art Deco Rectangle Mens Watch Genuine Lizard U Fix ItVintage 14k Gold Longines Diamond Dial 9l Curved Case Watch Mens 1949Vintage Wittnauer By Longines, Gold Filled, Manual Wind Mens WatchGenuine Longines 18k Gold Massive 122 Gram Long Curved Mens Watch Longines Calatrava Circa 1940s Vintage - Beautiful Open 6 Dial & Fancy LugsRare Longines Wittnauer 2-tone Dial 10k Gf (l&k) 9wn-caliber Vintage Mens WatchVtge Unusual Longines Conquest Cal 291. Date At 12 Automatic Men Watch. 1959.Antique,vintage Solid Silver Baume,longines Trench Watch For PartsVintage Longines 23zs Wristwatch 17 Jewel Vtg Swiss Watch 17j Movement RunningArt Deco Platinum Longines 1/3 Cttw Diamond Manual Wind Cal 450 Wristwatch NrBeaut.longines-wittnauer Gents Watch.scalloped Case/fab Dial/orig Bracelet.1950s